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June 16, 2009 Web Content
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Water sample data
Report To The TVA Board of Directors Regarding Kingston Factual Findings
The Audit Committee of the TVA Board of Directors retained R. William Ide, former President of the American Bar Association and a national expert in independent investigations, and the firm of McKenna Long & Aldridge, LLP, to conduct an independent factual investigation of the Kingston spill and its implications relating to systems, controls and culture.
Mr. Ide presented the report to the Board July 21, 2009 at a meeting in Knoxville, Tenn.
No Injuries in Train-Car Derailment at Kingston Ash-Spill Site
Two empty rail cars derailed Wednesday evening near TVA’s Kingston Fossil Plant ash-spill site, damaging a section of track just off TVA property and temporarily closing a roadway.
No one was injured. Local emergency-response officials were notified when the incident occurred.
The affected roadway, Swan Pond Road, was reopened as of 5:40 a.m. Thursday morning. The rail cars, belonging to Norfolk Southern Railroad, were being moved into position to be ready for loading ash Thursday morning.
Norfolk Southern officials were investigating the cause of the mishap and working to clear the damage Wednesday night. Preliminary results indicate operator error while reversing the direction of the train. Once track repairs are completed, normal ash-recovery and coal-delivery activities will resume.
TVA has completed a limited test of the removal of spilled fly ash from the Kingston site by rail.
Permanent disposal plans for ash from the Kingston ash spill have not yet been made, but this test will ensure that TVA uses the best possible processes for loading, material containment, transportation and unloading of the ash. Read More.
Tom Kilgore Updates House Subcommittee
TVA President & Chief Executive Officer Tom Kilgore provided an update on the ash-slide recovery effort at Kingston Fossil Plant for the U.S. House Subcommittee on Water Resources & Environment on March 31, 2009. View written testimony.
Other interested parties, including representatives from the Environmental Protection Agency and the Tennessee Department of Environment & Conservation, also provided testimony.
TVA continues working to remove cenospheres.
Cenospheres are inert, hollow balls of sand-like material. Cenospheres are created in a coal-fired boiler when molten ash solidifies around a bubble of flue gas to form a hollow sphere. The gas bubble allows cenospheres to be so lightweight that the particles float on water and are typically collected by skimming the surface of an ash pond.
Paving on Swan Pond Circle is complete and paving on Swan Pond Road is complete from Highway 70 to the northern-most entrance to the plant. Paving beyond the northern plant entrance is expected to be complete by April 15th at which time Swan Pond Road will be open to the public.
Emory and Clinch Rivers
Recovery of the ash in Church Slough is complete, and seeding is now underway. Removal of rock from access roads is also underway.
Construction of a second weir designed to confine the ash and keep it from entering the river is now complete. This dike will extend from Swan Pond Circle Road to the river bank at Kingston Fossil Plant.
Work is complete on a rock weir built on the Emory River, just north of the existing intake skimmer weir. The weir is about 615 feet long. The weir will allow water to continue flowing, but will contain the ash. TVA is coordinating with the Corps of Engineers for environmental permitting related to the work.
In accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), which requires federal agencies to consider the effects of their proposals on the human environment before decisions are made, TVA has issued an Environmental Assessment and a Finding of No Significant Impact on the initial emergency actions for the ash dike failure at the Kingston site.
Environment and Public Works Committee Testimony
Tom Kilgore, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Tennessee Valley Authority testified before the Environment and Public Works Committee on January 8, 2009. Documents related to that testimony are listed below:
Written Testimony (PDF, 104 kb)
Fact Sheet on Kingston (PDF, 1.69 mb)
Fact Sheet on Cenospheres (PDF, 102 kb)
Health Assessment Survey
Tennessee Department of Health, with assistance from Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), performed a brief health assessment of people living in the affected area. Health Department and CDC staff conducted the assessment by going door-to-door and asking routine health survey questions.
Radioactivity in Ash Samples Not a Problem
Ash samples, as well as a sample of soil from an unaffected area, were taken on December 29 and 30 in the Kingston area and analyzed for radioactivity. The final analysis confirms the conclusion that the radioactive material present is mostly naturally occurring and is similar to what we would normally find in soil in the Tennessee Valley area. It is also representative of what would be expected in coal ash.
Read more in the fact sheet. (PDF, 71 kb)
Local, state and federal agencies responding to the coal ash release at the Kingston plant have transitioned to a recovery project organization with continued state oversight. The transition marks progress in the initial phases of cleanup at the site, and plans are in place to guide the ongoing efforts.
The recovery efforts have continued without interruption.
The recovery project center will be located in a temporary facility on the plant site close to the ash storage area. The EPA and TDEC will continue to have staff at the site to carry on their oversight and independent sampling activities.
TVA continues to assist affected citizens through the outreach teams working directly with families and the staff working at the Outreach Center at 509 North Kentucky Street in Kingston. Phone numbers for the outreach center are (865) 632-1700 or (800) 257-2675.
Airborne Ash Dust Control
Seeding of the ash with temporary grass and mulch is complete.
This is a temporary measure for controlling dust and erosion. Long term recovery efforts will continue. For more information, please see the ash dust control fact sheet (PDF, 58 kb).
The undisturbed portion of the ash cell is being treated with a liquid dust suppression agent via truck and sprayer. The internal portion of the spilled material has been sprayed with seed and fertilizer, followed by straw. To provide temporary ground cover, TVA seeded, fertilized, and mulched about 213 total acres of exposed ash using a helicopter. More than 85 tons of grass seed and fertilizer were used. For areas that can not be easily accessed by air, TVA is using an amphibious vehicle to apply dust suppression materials. This will be applied manually from an amphibious vehicle in order to protect property and possessions. This process is similar to the one used by highway departments to provide ground cover.
For the area around Swan Pond Road where work is continuing, the ash will be sprayed with water.
The ash is mostly inert and breathing fly ash for a short period of time is unlikely to be a health concern. Breathing particulates (fly ash or other airborne particulates) over long periods of time can irritate the respiratory system. TVA is taking measures to reduce the amount of airborne dust that may arise in the future.